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Average Employee for 15 Years Becomes #2 Lead Generator – Here’s How:

They say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks.

Many small business owners feel the same about long-term employees.

Often they give up too soon.

Some think 14 years is too long to tolerate employees who barely do the minimum.

Depends.

14 years may be too long, or it may not be long enough.

It depends on how the business owner communicates with that employee.

For one client’s employee 14-years wasn’t enough.

Now in his 16th year this employee is re-energized and performing far beyond expectations.

I wrote about this employee back in December when he verbalized how important it was for him to raise his performance in key areas.

But, I bet you’ve heard employees verbalize their commitment many times in the past.

Talk is cheap.

The only thing that matters is performance.

Well, four weeks into the New Year this employee has followed through on his promise.

He is now #2 on his team in generating new prospect leads as a field technician.

The entire team has generated 100 new prospect contacts in the first four weeks of the New Year.

This activity has led to six job quote estimates for prospects not on my client’s radar screen 4 weeks ago.

Two years ago my client was pulling his hair out trying to get technicians to generate prospective client leads from their jobs in the field.

Despite “communicating” ad-nauseam he was getting no cooperation, commitment or follow through on his requests.

The only thing changed in 18 months is how my client communicates with his staff.

Historically, this company converts about 75% of the quotes to qualified prospects.

This level of activity will equate to 54 new client jobs or more than $81,000 in new business, about 10% revenue growth this year.

If you’d like to identify strategies to get employees to take initiative and ownership that could grow your business by a minimum of 10% this year…

Request one of my 5 FREE Championship Caliber Company Strategy Sessions.

To learn more, and to request one, go to http://www.YourChampionshipCompany.com/caliber/

Talk to you soon!
skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

 

 

 

 

P.S. – Because of my schedule I can only offer 5 free strategy sessions each month and they’re first come, first served, so request yours now at http://www.YourChampionshipCompany.com/caliber/


Workplace Communication Riddle of the Week:When Is A Chair Not Just a Chair?

Here’s a riddle for you this week…

When is a chair not just a chair?

The answer:
When it gets in the way of employee motivation and morale.

Recently, I learned that Randi, one of my clients’ employees, struggling with a bad back, had been asking for a new office chair for six years!

(Want to cut to the chase? Click this link to a brief interview I did with Randi about her chair – http://tinyurl.com/employeechair)

Imagine, six years?

She had been ignored in her requests.

Then, she was teased that she might be able to get one.

Then, she was told she had to survey the rest of her department to inquire who else would want a chair and what type of chair they would want.

After asking numerous times and being told it would only happen if she invested her time in this staff survey, she gave up.

Just 90-days after working with my client, the senior leader of her company’s division, she (and others on her team) got a new chair.chairphoto

Listen to Randi tell her story in this brief audio interview we did last week after the chair arrived.
http://tinyurl.com/employeechair

There are millions of stories like this in business with leaders not listening to their employees needs.

More on this next time, stay tuned and listen to my interview with Randi, her story deserves to be heard by employees and business leaders alike:
http://tinyurl.com/employeechair

Best Regards,

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

 


Teenage Employee Surprises Customer At Fast Food Drive Thru

At a Dunkin’ Donuts’ drive through last week a teenager working the window amazed me.

Teenagers today supposedly do not have the work ethic, attitude or focus to contribute to a business.

Well, this one did.

My standard breakfast order is a toasted bagel. And I always order a double chocolate donut as a treat.

After giving my order the young lady informed me through the scratchy speaker that they were out of double chocolate donuts.

Dunkin' Donuts double chocolate donut sitting on my car's dashboard to dry the frosting!

Dunkin’ Donuts double chocolate donut sitting on my car’s dashboard to dry the frosting!

At her recommendation I decided on a chocolate glazed (which is a double chocolate without the chocolate frosting on top).

I pulled up to the service window and paid.

BUT, instead of handing me a paper bag with my order, the young lady handed me a double chocolate donut on a napkin.

“I thought you didn’t have any,” I said.

“We don’t! I just made this for you. The frosting is still wet, so I couldn’t put it in a bag,” she replied.

In the moment she and her teammates decided to improvise, found some frosting and made me a double chocolate donut.

She made my day.

In my experience most young workers at Dunkin’ Donuts are typically like most workplace teenagers, disengaged, biding time ‘til a break or the end of their shift.

Not this teenager. Not at this Dunkin’ Donuts.

It was my first visit to this particular Dunkin’ Donuts.

But, I will be going back to see if this was an aberration or an expectation.

Because it was so out of character for the service at most fast food restaurants, I’m going to guess it’s part of the local franchise’s culture.

Something this franchise owner is doing creates a culture where teenage employees think for themselves to do the right thing for customers.

As I wrote last week, the younger generation in the workplace doesn’t have to be a problem.

Neither does the more mature generation.

Yet, the ineffective and contradictory motivation strategies applied in most small business work environments create the potential for both to be problems.

The result is the poor attitudes, low engagement and low productivity the business owners complain about.

If your workplace motivation strategies are just creating more drama and confusion, then…

You could definitely benefit from one of my Revolutionary Leadership Strategy Sessions.

To learn more, and to request one of the 5 free sessions I will be offering for February…

Go to www.RevolutionaryLeadershipCoaching.com/freestrategysession

Talk to you soon!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

 

 

 

P.S. – Remember that because of my schedule I can only offer 5 free strategy sessions each month and they’re first come, first served, so request yours now at www.RevolutionaryLeadershipCoaching.com/freestrategysession


The 4 Truths About Workplace Communication for High-Levels of Teamwork & Productivity

The last few weeks have been very active for me in terms of business development. It seems as though people are starting to pay more attention to the communication challenges in their workplace. Maybe they’ve just started to wake up to the reality and the frustrations. Who knows why, but I’m always happy to add value where I can.

Many of the discussions have been focused on similar issues and they got me thinking.

So, you, again are the beneficiary. If you lead a company, a department, a division or just a project team, here are 4 truths of communication for you to think about as you move forward:

  1. The most vital workplace communication issues are about people, not technology
    Don’t let people blame technology or hide behind it as an excuse for communication breakdowns because we have to communicate the old fashion way more often if we want to build a team grounded in high-levels of trust.
  2. Workplace communication issues must be addressed promptly, directly, and respectfully or they will get worse
    I can speak to this strategy from many personal experiences early in my leadership career in professional baseball, and I’m also sure you don’t have to take my word for it. You probably do not need to look too hard into your own situational experiences to know this to be true.
  3. Leadership communication drives workplace communication 
    Too many leaders continue to be a “do as I say, not as I do” leader. Too many lead the charge in organizations violating the corporate values they helped to create and expect everyone else to adhere to.
  4. Workplace communication can always get better 
    When we stop believing we can improve, we stop being a leader others are going to want to follow. Champions on the athletic field know there is always another level they need to work towards on the way to winning that championship. What about you?

Hope these 4 truths of workplace communication help make you an even better leader. If you’d like to learn more about these 4 truths, download this free, 15-minute audio report at this link or just hit the play button below:

’til next time, make it a great week!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

 

 


A-Rod’s Playoff Shananigans Prove Money Not Highest On the Motivation Scale

Last Saturday night in the first game of the American League Championship Series, which ended Thursday when the Detroit Tigers completed their four game sweep of the New York Yankees, the Yankees’ superstar third baseman Alex Rodriguez was caught flirting with female fans in the stands late in an as yet undecided game.

As a former baseball executive and someone that now works with business leaders to create a more motivated work environment focused on achieving organizational goals through high levels of teamwork, I’m appalled by A-Rod’s (Rodriguez’s nickname) actions.

But, it doesn’t surprise me in looking at it from the standpoint of human motivation and focus.

Imagine, if a superstar athlete, playing a child’s game while earning $30 million a year, can’t avoid distractions while participating in a key game on the path to their ultimate vision of winning the World Series, what chance is there to keep the focus and motivation at high levels of every day employees  in small businesses? Not much, I would guess.

This really points out to the fact that money is not the motivating factor so many business leaders think it is, or think it can be. Daniel Pink in his 2010 book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us reinforces the role money plays as a motivating factor in small business workplaces.

My challenge with ARod’s behavior is that it also usurps my approach to overcome the money as motivator challenge, which is to encourage business leaders to articulate an inspirational Championship Game Vision for which employees can get inspired by, much like a Major League Baseball player would be inspired and motivated to strive to achieve a World Series victor.

Hmm, not sure where I can go from here to help my clients. Thanks, ARod. Regardless of ARod’s shenanigans, I think I’ll keep my strategy to help my small business clients to create their own inspiring Championship Game Vision. I believe it still does work, thought, at least when you have the right people on the team, and maybe that’s the Yankees problem.

’til next time…enjoy your weekend!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results


Leadership Made Simple – The Only 3 Skills Organizational Leaders Need

I guess its not surprising that the first day back in the office from a workshop on “common sense” consulting, I’m writing a blog post on simplifying leadership.

Search Google for the keyword “leadership” and you will get 513 million results in .15 seconds.

That’s a lot of leadership advice. Somewhere in those 513 million Google search responses are some articles from my Leadership & Workplace Communication blog. And, today I want to synergize everything I know about leadership down to balancing these 3 simple skills:

  • Ability to learn from the past and apply those learnings to future actions and behaviors.
  • Focusing on what can be controlled in the present and take action only on those.
  • Creating an inspiring vision for the future and communicate it in a way to engage others.

For now, that’s all you need to know.

If you have something that does not or cannot fit within those three, leave a note and let’s discuss.

’til next time…make it a great week!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results


“As Soon As Possible” Is Just NOT Acceptable In Leadership & Workplace Communication

Every time I hear an outgoing voice mail message state, “please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible,” I cringe.

Whenever I read an e-mail requesting that I respond “as soon as possible,” I smile and shake my head.

It doesn’t seem to matter at what level of an organization the individual works in, this phrase ubiquitous.

It’s also a waste of time, literally and figuratively. Why? Because…

  1. It violates Leadership & Workplace Communication Sin #1 – A Lack of Specificity!
  2. It says absolutely nothing and means nothing, it is one of the emptiest phrases in the english language.
  3. It puts the person to whom it is being communicated to in a state of uncertaintyUncertainty is one of the worst human emotions we can experience. Why would we want to put another human being in that state?

Additionally, it is simply weak, powerless communication. Or as one of my mentors Anthony Robbins would say, “it is loser language!”

Most often this weak, powerless communication comes from organizational leaders that need to influence others to get things done. Then, they are left wondering why they are constantly waiting for people to get things done for them on time and at deadline (if, necessary).

Communicating in this manner is the cause of three problems in the workplace:

  1. Stress
  2. Mis-communication and mis-understandings
  3. Low productivity and missed deadlines

Call my voice mail and you will hear a specific commitment for a reply, “I promise to return your call by voice, e-mail or text within 3 hours.”

I get a lot of comments from people who leave a message for me regarding that commitment, mostly surprise, and others letting me know if they call after hours I do not need to reply late into the evening and my reply can wait. Its rather humorous!

You don’t need to have a commitment with as short a turn around as my three hours, but you must give some certainty to when someone can expect a reply. Make it 4-hours, by the end of the day, within 24 hours, by the end of the week, month, etc. whatever, just give people certainty as to when they will hear back from you.

This “as soon as possible” phrase also needs to be eliminated in other areas of our business. Especially when we are making a request of someone. How many times do we ask something of someone with less than a specific deadline, such as,

“Please get this back to me with your comments ‘as soon as possible.’ ”

Or maybe you are communicating with your spouse about coming home from the office at the end of the day and you say, “I’ll be home as soon as possible.” I’m sure this happens often in relationships and we wonder why “communication” erodes overtime in intimate personal relationships.

What does that phrase mean?

How long can you wait to reply? Technically, forever.

“As soon as possible” is in the eye, and within the realm, solely of the person responding. The person, probably you, making the request loses control of the issue and their (your) ability to influence the timing of any response.

If you want to be a more powerful leader and be able to influence people to follow you in a very positive, direct way, lose the phrase “as soon as possible,” immediately. Oooops, I mean, before the end of this week and by that I mean take the first step by changing your outgoing voice mail message by 5pm Eastern time, this Friday, July 27th.

If you’d like to become an even more powerful team leader, or leader of a small business team of employees, you are going to want to join me this coming Tuesday, July 31st at 4pm for my newest webinar, “Avoiding the 5 Critical Mistakes of Small Business Leadership.”

You can register free at this link: www.ChampionBusinessLeadership.com/5Mistakes

’til next time, make it a great week!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

 


Happy “National Small Business Week” – Here Are 5 Critical Mistakes in Small Business Leadership

This week is the 5th Annual National Small Business Week.

In honor the event I thought I’d offer my 2-cents on the topic of small business leadership.

Many of my blog subscribers attended last week’s webinar on The 5 Critical Mistakes Small Business Leaders Make that Kill Productivity & Profits.

In this webinar I offered 5 things small business leaders must take a look at within their business in order to make sure they are running optimally.

For those of you who did not attend the webinar, I’ll list these five critical mistakes of small business leaders here:

  1. Not having a Championship Game Vision and articulating it clearly and consistently to the team.
    • create something inspiring that employees can get excited about contributing to, just like an athletic team playing for a championship
  2. Not investing enough time in the hiring process
    • invest time and energy making sure the new hire is a fit for the organization’s culture and put more attention on attitude, behaviors, beliefs and work ethic, and get to those through behavioral interviewing strategies
  3. Focusing on time worked vs. job performance results/outcomes
    • too much is focused on accomplished the tasks in job descriptions and ‘FaceTime’ in the office instead of defining clear results/outcomes that should be achieved from the position
  4. Think the paycheck is/should be enough for motivation
    • in the 21st century the paycheck is just not enough to motivate employees, and that’s a good thing as it takes the focus off the money and more on purpose and making a difference.
  5. Proclaiming to have a “Family Atmosphere” and trying to create one
    • Most families are dysfunctional and many family businesses are run dysfunctionally from a personnel perspective. Define the aspects of the culture you would like to incorporate into your organization and build from there, forget about defining it as a ‘family atmosphere.’

If you’d like to take this concept deeper, I encourage you to experience the webinar. If you go to http://InstantTeleseminar.com/?eventid=29303220 you can download a free mp3 audio recording and view the streaming webinar.

Enjoy National Small Business Week and the free webinar to help you make your business even better!

’til next time, make it a great week!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

 

 


A Simple Step to Improve Teamwork at Your Workplace

I’m getting ready to begin a new client project this week and in discussing the scope of the project, one of the desired objectives identified was improving teamwork among the small staff.

In investigating the issue further during our discussion, another objective we uncovered was the breaking down of the silos in the organization. When the concept of “silos” was mentioned, I as flabbergasted! I almost fell out of my chair.

“Silos?” I exclaimed back to my prospective client, “you have less than 10 employees, how is that possible?”

This brought the conversation back to the teamwork concept, and people stepping in to help each other when the situation warrants. This would look like people either noticing that help is needed and volunteering to step up to pitch in, or to gladly accept the opportunity with a smile instead of grumbling or complaining with an “it’s not my job” response.

I asked one simple question that turned the conversation. “Well, is ‘teamwork’ and working to support other’s on the staff part of everyone’s performance expectations?”

My prospect asked me what I meant by that and I said, “do you discuss the willingness and ableness of individual team members contribution to teamwork in your regular performance conversations?”

After a few seconds of stunned silence the reply was, “you know, I guess we don’t.”

What gets measured, gets attention and will usually get done. Therefore, if you want teamwork to be a priority, then you as a leader must make it so. This means making it part of everyone’s job performance standards and behavior expectations (this is much different than a job description and should be developed for each job in the company).

In moving forward with this project I can assure you that teamwork will be part of everyone’s job performance standards and behavior expectations.

But, and this is a BIG BUT, if this sounds like something you need in your organization DO NOT just instill new performance standards and behavior expectations on your own as the organization’s leader. It will be seen with disdain and cynicism. This approach will get you compliance with little commitment and buy-in.

In the work with my client, first we’re going to have to discuss with the team what great “teamwork” looks like and why they would want to be part of an organization that has it, and how their present approach to teamwork matches the definition they just created so that we can identify the gap to gain buy-in to building a bridge of new thinking and actions to close the gap, they themselves, identified. That’s where true commitment will come.

If teamwork, or any other individual/group behavior, is not at the level you would like it to be, then figure out a way to make it a priority for all and begin measuring accountability to it. If you’d like help with this, I encourage you to join me for my April 26th Open-Forum Q&A Coaching Webinar where you can join me LIVE to have your specific situation addressed.

Go to www.ChampionBusinessLeadership.com/laserwebinar to register for FREE .

Hope this blog article helps you look at one very simple and overlooked way to make teamwork work at your organization.

’til next time, make it a great week!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results


First Steps to Create High Levels of Employee Engagement & Employee Motivation


A number of questions to me have come in since the webinar last week on The Goldilocks ‘Just Right’ Leadership Style with business leaders and middle managers wanting to learn more about how to specifically implement various aspects of what I was espousing.

In the next few blog posts I’m going to address some of the questions that have been submitted, the first is…

“Skip, if I want to begin to implement the “Engage & Enroll Just Right Leadership Style” to create higher levels of employee engagement on my team where do I start? I’m especially interested in your answer since I’m just a middle-manager and those above me lead much differently and I have to deal with them, too?”

If you missed the webinar, and would like to learn what this participant is talking about, for a limited time you can access the webinar for free at this link:

http://InstantTeleseminar.com/?eventid=27167961

From that link you can watch the full webinar with the slide presentation or just download the audio version which should give you what you need as a stand alone teleclass.

Answer:
The first step is to create a Championship Vision for the area for which you are responsible.

What I mean by that is just like an athletic team that on its first day of training camp everyone is focused on getting to the championship game, you and your team can together identify the specific vision for what it wants to achieve that would really standout and be noticed, regardless of where it is at within your organization. 

How can you define that for yourselves in a way that is inspiring and builds commitment from everyone that needs to contribute towards its accomplishment?

This Championship Vision should be defined from a number of different contextsHVR_1999NYPChampions that offer measurable results that can quantified. Here are some ideas:

  • Specific performance results and output (measurable goals)
  • Defined work environment and culture (what type of work environment does everyone want to experience and is willing to commit to being held accountable to)
  • Image, recognition, brand (what is the external impression others inside and outside (if appropriate) have of your team/group, etc.?

For example, here is one former clients Championship Vision:

“We are recognized as community leader that truly makes a difference to its citizens. Our business has grown to the point we are able to step in to resurrect the landmark office building in downtown and be its anchor tenant that has begun the resurgence of our local community. We have a team committed to truly supporting each other in these efforts and every team member is willing and able to be held accountable to contributing at high levels and are compensated equal to their contribution to our organization’s success!”

Even though this Championship Vision was developed for a small business by the company’s owner with the help and feedback from all 15 employees, the middle manager asking the original question can do the same within the context of his or her team’s role within the larger organization.

Every department or division in a larger organization has a defined role, goals and culture developed among its team members. Get everyone together to define what the group aspires to that would inspire all to contribute as high-levels to it and create the standards, expectations and accountabilities to make it happen.

This is no different than a professional athlete who joins a team that is committed to winning a Championship. More on that with a specific story from the real world of sports as a learning example next time…’til then…

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

Make it a great week!


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